Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: Navigating the Pandemic Recovery

A Panel Hosted by the ARF’s “Women In Analytics” with featured speaker Kelly Metz, VideoAmp’s VP of Product Marketing

The challenges created by the pandemic were not one size fits all. Companies of all sizes, from all industries, faced different hurdles in figuring out how to not only navigate, but come out better on the other end — make lemonade out of lemons, if you will. 

The ARF brought female leaders together, as a part of their Women in Analytics group, to discuss how different companies coped. Our VP of Product Marketing, Kelly Metz, joined women from IRI, General Mills, General Motors, Discovery and DoorDash, to speak about the wins, struggles and learning experiences of 2020 that are being carried into the new year and beyond.

VideoAmp stood out from the other panelists for a few reasons, mostly for being a mid-sized adtech company among household names. In 2020, we not only faced the pandemic, but a reckoning of big tech, privacy and new laws that completely changed the way advertisers would be able to reach audiences and measure their investments. From the death of the third-party cookie, CCPA, GDPR, then the pandemic and the vanishing budgets that came with it, VideoAmp had to adapt or die. 

We focused on being agile and proactive, finding success with three key tactics: 

  1. Differentiation
    • VideoAmp finds efficiencies and optimizes media investments for brands and agencies. Explaining data and insights to a client is a generally daunting task but even more so when all communication is virtual. We knew we had to rethink the experience and make the data fun, digestible and engaging. We leaned on our design team to take complex charts, equations and concepts into relatable and entertaining presentations.
    • We wanted to make it fun in a time when not much fun was being had. This helped us not only differentiate our offering, but also make deeper connections with customers. 
  2. Decision Support
    • We knew that one of the biggest challenges facing our clients was how to strategically spend every dollar to optimize their campaigns and meet their business goals. We went all in on the products we knew would help them do this in the most efficient and effective way possible. We ramped up and rolled out our self-service Campaign Optimizer solution and focused on actionable insights.
  3. Trust
    • The headlines were, and still are, pretty scary. Panic seemed to be coming from all fronts and we wanted to ease tension and provide clarity wherever possible. We rolled out monthly presentations for clients, diving into the impact the pandemic was having on media and TV viewing behaviors and what we found as actionable insights. We also established weekly meetings dubbed “office hours” that were informal and collaborative, allowing clients to ask questions and dive deeper where they really needed to.
    • From an internal standpoint, our company wanted to create as much transparency as possible. We began having weekly all-hands where employees were encouraged to ask questions and our CEO would give candid and honest responses. Our execs chose to be extremely open about where we stood, the hurdles in front of us and exactly how we would tackle it all together. 

The overwhelming theme of the panel was the importance of agility and adaptability. The other biggest lesson learned? Looking to the past to predict the future doesn’t cut it anymore. The way we model and plan has evolved and it isn’t going back. We’re in the new “normal” everyone’s been talking about now, let’s continue to make it fun!

Check out the full recording here: